Activities | Nifty Mom

Posts Tagged“Activities”

BabbaBox ReviewMy three year old is growing into a young little man too fast and is extremely eager to learn new things all the time. His imagination and creativity has exploded the last few months and I am doing everything I can to encourage it. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get quality time with him. However, when my younger two sons manage to take their afternoon nap at the same time, I get some one-on-one time with Ethan. As a busy Mom of three, I don’t always have time to put together new, fun educational projects and that is where BabbaBox comes in.

BabbaBox is a monthly subscription home-delivered box. Each box has a theme and it includes everything needed to create projects and expand the minds of three to six year old kids. Each box contains three products, a book, digital download and a parent gift.

Sun Moon Stars BabbaBox Contents

We received the ‘Sun, Moon, & Stars’ box which included:

  • CREATE: Paper-Mache Glowing Moon
  • CREATE: Star Constellation
  • EXPLORE: Lunar Calendar and Binoculars
  • STORY TELL: ‘Twinkle, Star of the Week‘ Book
  • CONNECT: Digital Content with How-To Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a Digital Piano and a ‘Planet Finder’
  • PARENT GIFT: Star Wine Cork

Indoor Play with Pool Noodles

With summer coming to an end, I have been thinking about new fall activities and re-purposing summer toys.  Yesterday, I was in my garage and noticed a few foam pool noodles that we didn’t really use this summer. I knew I could find some new uses for them so the search was on and this weekend I plan to start my projects. But for now, here are my top 5 favorite uses I found for pool noodles.


Using Pool Noodles to Learn
Photo Courtesy of

1. Over-sided Beads & Lacing Patterns: I know my sons are going to have tons of fun with these. Sara posted on Totally Tots this great idea to slice a few different colored noodles. Write a letter or number on each piece. Little ones can lace them in order, copy patterns, or spell words. I can see hours of fun and learning here. Deborah from takes it a step further and cuts a slit in each one. This allows the kids to connect them to create chains.


Using Pool Noodles Indoors
Photo Courtesy of

2. Marble Run: Lindsay from LindsayandAndrew sliced noodles in half and created a little ‘race track’ for marbles.


Using Pool Noodles as Indoor Play
Photo Courtesy of

3. Hammer Time: I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this idea from Valerie over at Inner Child Fun. She attached pieces of pool noodles to cutting boards and then the kids can use their toy hammers to hammer golf tees into the noodles. I am just going to say this is the first one I am going to make this weekend. My 2 & 3 year old sons have been attached to their toy hammers this past week and want to hit/hammer everything (including the walls, tables, and even each other).

Games with Pool Noodles
Photo Courtesy of taken by David Roth

4. Backyard Play: has a few ideas for using the pool noodles in the backyard making a Target Station, Rings, Wicket, and more.


Using a Pool Noodle to make a Wreath
Photo Courtesy of

5. Wreath: Tonya from Love of Family and Home made this super cute Autumn wreath and the form is a pool noodle!

Do you re-use pool noodles for outside of the pool?


Finger Paint Handprint FlowerIf you are looking for something cute to do with your toddlers or kids for Mother’s Day, this is easy and there are so many things you can do with it! Use pink or red finger paint for the ‘flower’ and paint a stem/grass (this was the best I got out from my 22 month old). I always use card stock instead of copy paper, because it is thicker and shouldn’t warp from the paint.

Here are some different ideas you can do for gifts for Moms, Grandmas, etc.:

  • Make a card with the flower on the cover
  • Attach a picture of your little one next to the flower and frame it
  • Do some ‘flowers’ on wrapping paper for the present or on a gift bag

Nifty Tip:

I always take a picture of the artwork and upload it on my computer. Then not only is it forever saved, but you can use it to print copies, make photo gifts (mug, shirt, mouse pad, etc), or use it in a photo book.

***Click here for another finger paint gift I did with my son.

***Or you can make a Handprint Sun or Footprint Butterflies.

UPDATE: Check out the Handprint Tote Bags we made!



I came up with this idea for a gift for my husband last Fathers Day. Our son was 11 months old at the time and I decided it was time for him to do his first artwork and finger paint. It was so much fun and so easy to do!


  • Crayola Washable Fingerpaints
  • Poster Board
  • Waterproof mattress protector ($10-$15 at Target) – Easy clean up, a great back drop, & reusable
  • Camera
  • Picture frame
  • Tape

I draped the sheet over a table so it was a background and covered the floor area.

I put down one paint color at a time and let him paint. And after it was all done, I was very happy with his artwork! It was perfect to use as a picture mat. *Nifty Tip: Take a picture of the finished artwork. This way you can use it as a digital background or just have a copy of it.

I picked my favorite section and cut out the size of the frame I was using. *Nifty Tip: Take the frame (with the backing and inserts removed) and hold it over the artwork to see what it will look like before you start cutting.

I then picked my favorite picture (which was not easy, there were too many good ones!) and cut it to down, allowing more room to see the painting. Tape to picture anywhere on the painting and put it in the frame.  Now you have a wonderful gift or decor you can keep for yourself!Other Ideas you can do with the left over artwork:

  • Make another frame or two
  • Use it as a scrapbook background and scrapbook the pictures you took
  • Use a section on a homemade greeting cards

Paint Color Ideas:

  • I used green, orange, and blue because it was for my husband
  • Use red, white, pink, purple for Mothers Day, Valentines Day
  • Use pastels for a spring picture
  • The possibilities are endless :)

***See the hand print flower I did with my son for more ideas.